she said,
he made me turn away
from all things human,
including myself.

i said,
he hardened you.
is that what you mean to say?

she said.
she paused.
but that is a good thing, isn’t it?

i said,
you are defending him.
so why did you leave him?

she said,
because he made me feel inferior.

did he?
i said.
or did you do that to yourself?

does it make a difference?
she said,
i feel like a train
that has broken down.
what do you make of that?

it’s better to be a train
that has broken down,
i said,
than to be a train that
never reaches the station.